There’s a new shop for women coming to 924 E. Douglas in Old Town, but this one doesn’t have anything to do with golf.
Lauren Mercado is opening Handpicked Los Angeles in the former Ladies Golf Place space.
The Wichita native has been working in the fashion industry in California for the last eight years. Mercado planned to open a store in Los Angeles or San Diego later this year, but changed her mind after a trip to Wichita.
“I haven’t been back in about four years, and I came back, and I was like, oh, this is perfect,” she says of opening here.
Mercado says she recognizes it’s going to be a lifestyle switch.
“Tell me about it.”
Mercado has been a stylist and visual merchandiser for a Los Angeles-based retail chain, and she says she’s been learning her trade by starting at the bottom of the fashion world.
She also has had an online store – www.shophandpickedla.com– for the last year and has been selling at pop-up stores in Los Angeles and San Diego. Mercado says she takes vintage clothing and redesigns it to make a modern look out of it.
Those looks will comprise about 30 percent of her Wichita store.
“Everything else would be contemporary, trendy clothing for the 18-to-32-year-old woman.”
Los Angeles is an inspiration for Mercado, including for the name of her store.
“That’s where it started for me,” she says. “I was hand picking the clothes from LA, and that’s where I’m going to continue to get my clothes from.”
Mercado says she considered the east side and Old Town for her store.
“I checked out a lot of different locations on the east side, and it just didn’t really go with what I’m trying to do,” she says.
She says her 1,500-square-foot Old Town space has character, with vintage tin ceilings and exposed brick walls.
Mercado says it won’t be the traditional Old Town store, though.
“I just really want my store to have a California vibe to it.”
She says she plans to open Oct. 3 with a fall line. Look for more information closer to that time.